Monthly Archives: July 2010

Alexandra Morton, salmon feedlots and closed containment

Activists love emotional language.

American activist, Alexandra Morton, loves to hate salmon farming. It’s her passion, it’s her job.

Alexandra Morton says she supports aquaculture, but just not salmon farming. Makes one wonder who’s paying for her very selective criticisms?

She calls salmon farms “industrial salmon feedlots”. Ewwww…conjures up images of chickens stuffed in cages and pigs rolling in their own poo. Ewwww. (no offence to the hard working poultry and pork farmers of this world).

She also says salmon feedlots are “an ecology of bad ideas, struggling to control disease with drugs, corrupting the food chain by using warm-blooded animal products…dyeing their fish pink to resemble salmon.”

Ms. Morton says salmon should not be farmed because they are carnivores, and therefore eat fish as part of their diet (this conveniently ignores the fact that billions of hatchery salmon in Alaska, Russian and Japan are the same carnivorous beasts).

But wait, she has a solution! Grow salmon in tanks on land, she says. Yes, growing fish in tanks on terra firma is automatically “sustainable”, she says.

Here’s some logical questions for Alexandra Morton:

1. How does trading the current method of growing salmon at low densities in their natural environment, for salmon crammed into concrete tanks on land, make it less of a “feedlot”? Answer: it doesn’t. Try marketing that vision!

2. How does moving a carnivorous fish onto land turn it into a vegetarian? Answer: it doesn’t (click here to know the facts about fish meal use in aquaculture).

3. If farmed salmon are dyed pink, how would moving them on land change that? Answer: it wouldn’t, but its a moot point anyways because farmed salmon are not dyed. Geeez, how many times do we have to tell you! (click here to know the facts about how salmon get their color). 

4. If disease is an issue on BC salmon farms , how would packing salmon into tanks on land improve fish health? Answer: it wouldn’t (click here to know the facts about fish health programs on BC salmon farms).

5. How does trading the use of a green power (tidal power) used by ocean based salmon farms today, for energy hungry water pumps and filters required to operate tanks on land, automatically make it “sustainable”? Answer: C’mon, you know the answer!

Well, it’s quite clear that the apparent solution to the “ills” of salmon farming aren’t solutions at all – it’s just another way of de-marketing a healthy, affordable and sustainable protein source.

And it was so obvious we almost missed it!

“Industrial salmon feedlot” doesn’t accurately describe the way salmon are raised today, but it could be a fair representation of the future…if Alexandra Morton has her way.

Morton is an American trust fund baby, not a scientist

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 3, 2010 – 08:08.

excellent article- readable and true.  I think that the fact Morton’s Mom is a billionaire trust fund baby (google “Barbara Marx Hubbard” for a bio) blowing her Daddy’s fortunes is pertinent.  Morton is extremely connected politically and Alaska salmon farming is big business.  Morton and her Mom are billionaires. The only thrill left is power.  The power of crushing an industry (BC farm salmon is a huge market threat to Alaska ocean ranched salmon), getting your name on scientific papers, and even changing the laws in a foreign land (Canada) must be heady indeed.



Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 7, 2010 – 15:06.

Finally, finally, someone has pointed out who Ms. Morton (Hubbard) really is


Have you polled B.C. citizen’s about fish farms.?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 3, 2011 – 20:29.

I am telling you that B.C.’s fish farm industry must be moved on to the land. Look at what is happening in Scotland, Chile, and Norway…….B.C. will lose their wild salmon, is this your plan.?


I will support this move. But, as you know our Government and Gordon Campbell is a liar, about fish farms and proven liar about not implementing any more taxes, before he was elected in 2001.

What did he do, he lied to us, and now 700,000 citizen’s reject the Liberals. Why don’t you poll the citizen’s for their opinion about fish farms.?

I want them moved on to the land.

Happy New Year because 700,000 people can’t be wrong about how they feel about being lied to and you people are next to losing your job, unless it is moved on to the land.

Concerned citizen…… and angry at you people for killing our wild salmon JUVENILES…and introducing an alien species into our waters, sea lice infestations from these farms, do kill the young salmon that pass through the 70 farms in Johnstone Strait every spring migration.




Response to “Have you polled…”

Submitted by editor on January 9, 2011 – 14:07.

Thanks for your comments and opinions. We’ll leave your political thoughts alone and respond to what we know best…growing salmon.

First of all, we need to correct your claim that there are 70 farms in Johnstone Strait. In fact, there are no (zero) fish farms in Johnstone Strait – there is one small farm south of Johnstone Strait. It is a major transportation route and no aquaculture operations have ever been authorized in that channel. But you are right that most wild salmon travelling the East side of Vancouver Island use Johnstone Strait.

As for your wish that salmon farms move onto land; to be honest, we salmon farmers couldn’t care less where we grow our fish, as long as they are healthy and happy. But the fact is, the ocean is a very good place to grow salmon. It provides our fish lots of space to grow in their natural environment.

We also know land based farming very well – our fish start their lives on land in hatcheries and are raised in land based tanks for 1 year. Then they’re moved to their natural environment – the ocean – to grow for 2 years. If land based systems become viable (socially, environmentally and economically) for growing healthy salmon all the way to a harvestable size of about 6 kgs, then we’d be happy to grow them in these systems.

For an in-depth review on the feasibility of land based systems, see this recent review done by DFO –…


Dr. David Friedman is no “expert”

Marketing can be an ugly business. We live in a world where marketing a product can simply consist of an unknown television “news” program interviewing an “expert”. The script is read from a pad of paper and the cameras role. At its worst a campaign will rely on “de-marketing” – a product is promoted by attacking its competitors.

Enter Beth Troutman (the “host”) interviewing Dr. David Friedman (the “health expert”) on the Lifetime Television Network show ‘The Balancing Act’.

“What type of fish should we eat?” Ms. Troutman innocently asks the “expert” seated across from her. She’s funny too, “something fishy is going on here,” she says. That’s good stuff. They both giggle. It’s cute.

They both agree that fish is an important part of ones diet…but only if you get them in the “wild”. Then they quickly transition into the typical rant against fish farming – with a special focus on salmon. Surprise, surprise. Eating farmed fish can “lead to cancer” they say. Really?

• Dr. Friedman says farm-raised fish have high level of dangerous PCB’s (up to 10 times). Eating farmed fish, he says, can “increase your risk of cancer by 10 times” if you eat it more than twice a month. We (and many more credible scientists) busted that one back in 2004.

• He says farm-raised fish are fatty because they “are confined in smaller cages and don’t exercise” (he does a little dance here that apparently resembles a salmon exercising?). That’s just stupid. Fish swim 24/7 no matter where they live – that’s an exercise plan many Americans should follow. Species of fish have different fat levels because of their genetic make-up and diet, not their swimming regime.

• He says “a lot of fish farmers inject dyes into the fish” to give it color. Nonsense. No dyes are injected into salmon flesh. Farmed and wild salmon and trout receive their flesh pigmentation by eating carotenoids in their diet.

• He encourages listeners to only buy wild salmon. Marketing, pure marketing. Besides, good luck meeting the demand for salmon with only “wild”.

So who is Dr. David Friedman? Is he an expert toxicologist? Is he a biologist or nutritionist? Well, here it is….Dr. Friedman is a chiropractor. Yes, a chiropractor. But wait, it gets even better. In 2003 a company called Seasilver USA, of which David Friedman held a seat on its advisory board, was charged with deceptive marketing. 

Seasilver produced dietary supplements and was caught making outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s ability to prevent, treat and cure disease. Amongst the products false claims which David Friedman personally helped promote was “Seasilver could cure cancer” (Friedman DR. Interview on “The Jane Donigan Nutrition Hour” (radio infomercial), broadcast in 2003.).

Well, if David R. Friedman holds the cure for cancer, then can he needn’t worry about eating all the farmed fish he wants, right?

This “doctor” should stick to crackin’ backs.